The Ultimate Guide to Lisbon Wedding Venues

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

Lisbon is a special city. All that have the pleasure of knowing it fall in love almost instantly. But planning a wedding in Lisbon is not the easiest thing if you don’t know where to start!

To start wedding planning, you need a rough number of dates, an idea of what you want, an idea of budget as precursors. Those things are all “ideation” though. You haven’t officially started the wedding planning process until you have started venue sourcing. So in this detailed blog, I am going to let you in on the secrets to finding an amazing venue in Lisbon. Starting with some important practical information that will be useful to your guests. Then we’ll discuss the types of venue you can find in Lisbon. We’ll touch on the average costs of wedding venues in Lisbon. At the end, I’ll let you know three of my favorite venues in Lisbon. I’ll also introduce myself properly so you’ll know this information is credible (well.. you can be the judge anyway!).

Let’s dive into finding your dream wedding venue in Lisbon!

  1. Why have a wedding in Lisbon?

  2. Practical information about getting married in Lisbon

  3. Wedding venues in Lisbon

  4. How much do Lisbon wedding venues cost?

  5. Top 3 wedding venues in Lisbon

  6. About Olivia & Venues by Nulyweds

Forte da Cruz

Why have a wedding in Lisbon?

Lisbon is more than just the colorful, bohemian capital of Portugal. It is an exciting, buzzing city and the center of Portuguese culture. Lisbon has it all.

Packed full of history, Lisbon is a treasure trove for Europhiles to discover the past. There are centuries-old monuments, cathedrals, and castles all found in the heart of the city.

As for the coastline, most beach lovers will flock to Cascais. It’s a rather high-end suburb with miles and miles of golden beaches peppered with rocky cliffs. It’s a gorgeous backdrop for your wedding or even a quick beach trip during your holiday here.

For those who love food, Lisbon has you covered. Portugal is known for its seafood-based cuisine, and Lisbon does it oh so well. The restaurants in Lisbon are top tier, offering the very best Portuguese seafood (if you know where to look!).

Lisbon is also home of Fado - a type of soul music performed live by Lisboetas in restaurants downtown. For an authentic Lisbon experience, try to visit a Fado show as you may want to integrate it into your wedding day. I’ve planned weddings that have featured fado performances before. A true highlight of the day.

One of the best things about Lisbon is its proximity to other amazing locations. Sintra is in the Greater Lisbon area, just 30mins away by train. This magical town draws many tourists and wedding couples alike because of its palaces, panoramic views, and paved winding streets. The National park of Sintra sprawls all the way to Cascais, so there is also a stunning coastline here. 30mins South you have Setúbal, which is the lesser-known underbelly of Lisbon, but is not to be sniffed at! Like Sintra, it has a national park and beautiful beaches. As it is not as popular as Sintra, however, you’ll miss the heaving crowds - win-win!

Overall, Lisbon is an amazing place to get married because it has something for everyone. Your guests will all have the opportunity to have a tailored experience in Lisbon that they will remember for years to come.

Photo by Luisa Starling

Practical information about getting married in Lisbon

Transport in Lisbon

There are many ways to get around Lisbon. The most common methods are taxis and the metro.

Ubers are incredibly cheap in Lisbon and easy to use. There is also another app called Bolt that works in the same way but has a slightly less reliable interface. Regular taxis are plentiful in the city but be sure the meter is always visible to you. Taxi drivers are known for trying to fleece tourists.

The metro (or subway) is incredibly simple to navigate. Lisbon only has 4 main lines named after colors Green, Yellow, Blue, and Red. It is possible to take the metro directly from the airport to the center of town. Metro tickets cost €2 for a single ticket.

There are buses available in Lisbon but it is quite complicated to understand them if you don’t know exactly where you are going. Taking a tram is also a great experience for tourists as many of them retain their vintage style with open windows. They follow the same routes as buses and can help you get to further parts of the city that the metro does not reach, like Belém.

Flights to Lisbon

The main airport in Lisbon is the Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). At the time of writing, the list of countries with direct flights are as follows:

  • Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante, Bilbao, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Seville, Valencia)

  • UK (London, Manchester)

  • France (Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Lille, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Toulouse)

  • Luxembourg

  • Italy (Florence, Bologna, Milan, Pisa, Rome, Turin, Venice)

  • Holland (Amsterdam, Eindhoven)

  • Switzerland (Geneva, Zurich, Basel)

  • Belgium

  • Germany (Frankfurt, Baden-Baden, Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart)

  • Angola

  • Brazil (São Paulo, Belém, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador)

  • Austria

  • Bulgaria

  • Canada

  • Cape Verde (Boa Vista, Praia, Sal, São Vincente)

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Finland

  • Ghana

  • Guinea-Bissau

  • Hungary

  • Ireland

  • Ivory Coast

  • Morocco (Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech Menara)

  • Norway

  • Poland (Warsaw, Wroclaw)

  • Romania

  • Russia

  • Senegal

  • Sweden

  • Tunisia

  • Turkey

  • Ukraine

  • United Arab Emirates

  • United States (Miami, New York)

  • Venezuela

Language barriers

English is widely spoken in Lisbon so very few of my couples have issues getting around in Lisbon. Even metro signs are written in both Portuguese and English. If you are a Spanish speaker, you may be understood well too. French, German and Italian are not as widely spoken as English. Mandarin and Arabic speakers are hard to come by but there may be assistance in these languages at tourism information points.

Our Quinta

Wedding venues in Lisbon

Now onto the meat and potatoes of this blog. Wedding venues in Lisbon!

As the nation’s capital, Lisbon has a wide range of venue styles. From botanical gardens to university cloisters, palaces to 5-star hotels, it’s easy to find a myriad of wedding venues that could suit your needs.

In the center of the city, you have fewer options than you do in the suburbs and outskirts of Lisbon. What you will notice is any venues advertising as “Lisbon wedding venues” may be a good 1 hour away from the city itself. There are a few reasons for this. For one, it is always difficult to find enough space for a full wedding venue in the very center of the city. Unless they are historical sites that have been there for centuries, botanical gardens owned by the state or hotels, you will need to leave the center of town to find most of the fabulous venues.

On the aforementioned coastline of Cascais, there are a few stellar venues that could be hotels or not. These venues are extremely popular and, therefore, pricey. The most famous wedding venue on the Cascais coastline is Forte da Cruz. You’ve probably heard of it!

Stretching a little further out into the Mafra region, you have an explosion of wedding venues. You can get married in the countryside with plenty of outdoor space just 25-30mins drive away from the city center. Here you are spoilt for choice for classic, rustic or botanical venues.

So as you can see, Lisbon has many incredible options, but the big question is how much?

Palácio Conde D'Óbidos

How much do wedding venues cost in Lisbon?

In the nation’s capital, it makes sense that the venues are a little pricier than in other areas of the country. What I found most surprising when I started planning weddings in Lisbon is the difference in wedding menus as opposed to venues in central, northern, or southern Portugal. It’s not so much the price tag that makes Lisbon expensive. It is the limit of the menu offering.

Now granted, wedding menus in Portugal are huge! They include two mains for every person, over 20 canapes during cocktail hour, open bar all night, and extremely generous dessert buffets. But I notice that Lisbon wedding venues are more likely to serve one main per person and have a smaller canape offering than Northern wedding venues. For most US, UK, and Canadian couples, this will already feel like a lot of food. It’s just worth pointing out that in other areas of the country, you can get so much more for so much less.

With regards to how Lisbon wedding venues are priced, most have a minimum guest number fee structure. This means that they do not have a venue fee. Instead, they charge you per person for the menu you select and impose a minimum number of paying guests. Minimums are on average 80-100 guests, depending on the time of year and day of the week. That said, there is a larger percentage of venues that charge a venue fee in Lisbon than there is in any other part of the country.

But okay. Less waffle. Here are some average figures from my experience planning weddings in Portugal since 2018:

Average menu price - €105 + VAT

Average venue fee (if applicable) - €3000+VAT

Average wedding venue and catering spend for a historical wedding in Lisbon for 100 guests - €12,750+VAT

Average wedding venue and catering spend for a rustic wedding on the outskirts of Lisbon for 100 guests - €10,000+VAT

lisbon wedding venue - villa tamariz

Villa Tamariz

Top 3 wedding venues in Lisbon

I wanted to give you a sneak peek of some of the Lisbon wedding venues we have on our venue-finding platform! Here are three of my personal favorites. I have selected one from each region that we discussed: on the coast, in the suburban countryside, and in the inner city. All of these venues have also been pictured in the article:

Villa Tamariz

Villa Tamariz is a stone’s throw away from Forte da Cruz. It is in fact owned by the same company and they are walking distance from each other. Located on the golden, sandy beach of Estoril, Villa Tamariz looks like a big yellow palace. The interior, however, is a hybrid of classic and modern styling. It has a clean, blank space aesthetic so you can truly make this place your own. The large arch windows have clear views out to the beach below. There is an option to hire the venue exclusively or non-exclusively depending on your budget. Overall I love this venue for a modern-classic couple who wants a sea view!

Our Quinta

Our Quinta is our suburban countryside option. Located 25mins outside of the city center, the peacefulness of the surrounding fields feel a world away from Lisbon’s hustle and bustle. What I like most about this venue is its complete uniqueness. Many Portuguese venues are very traditional or classic in style. But not Our Quinta. This venue is supremely eclectic with hanging chandeliers in a dusky grey stone room. It has a very “pub-like” vibe inside. What my couples love most are the views. It has an edgeless lake stretching around the venue which amplifies the breathtaking view out to the horizon. The sunset here is divine. To top it all off, the team at Our Quinta ae accommodating, flexible, and professional. A great choice all round.

Pálacio Conde D’Óbidos

For our city center pick, I chose Palacio Conde D’Obidos. This venue is actually home to Portugal’s Red Cross! It is located on the river and is packed with history. The painted ceilings and tiled walls are so Portuguese. There is a balcony on the river looking out to the city’s skyline which is perfect for a ceremony, cocktail hour, or evening cake cut. The venue is extremely flexible with what you can do which is relatively rare for venues so old. Though I haven’t done a wedding here yet, I cannot wait to - even if it is my wedding one day!

Photo by Marni V Photography

About Olivia & Venues by Nulyweds

I hope this guide on wedding venues in Lisbon was helpful to you! I am Olivia Santos, the CEO and host of Venues by Nulyweds. I have been planning weddings in Portugal since 2018 and have been planning weddings in general since 2014. VBN came from my frustration at how difficult it was to find wedding venues in Portugal when I first started working here. I see that frustration in the clients that come to me for help. They often circle the same 10 wedding venues in Lisbon because that’s all they can find in Portugal. But there are so many more options!

Venues by Nulyweds is an online venue-finding service, matching you with your perfect wedding venue in Portugal. Our membership is packed with information on how to get married in Portugal plus expert support from me throughout your journey. All venues have video tours so you can see the space from the comfort of your own home. You can also use the easy enquiry form on each venue page to make the first contact with venues you like straight away!

To learn more about the VBN membership, click here.

For now, I will love you and leave you!